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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, February 11 2017

A potential five-pronged attack on the $1million Vodafone New Zealand Derby is still on the cards for the powerful Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable after yesterday’s Te Rapa meeting.

Mongolian Legend keeping his Derby prospects alive with a determined win at Te Rapa yesterday.

Mongolian Legend keeping his Derby prospects alive with a determined win at Te Rapa yesterday.

The Cambridge stable lined up two of their Derby prospects with the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry-owned Mongolian Legend enhancing his prospects of a start in the Group One classic with a gritty victory over 2100 metres in the last event, while stablemate Jon Snow showed he was also still very much in Derby contention when he battled gamely to finish less than four lengths from Volkstok’n’barrell in one of the day’s Group One features, the Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m).

Baker was a happy man as he reflected on the performances of his two runners.

“Jon Snow was very brave, but probably just needed some rain to show his best,” he reflected. “He sticks really well and didn’t give it away in what was a pretty hot field.

“Mongolian Legend is a horse with a lot of potential so I was pleased to see him get the win which is only going to help him as he makes progress in this campaign.

“He’s a colt who can take his mind off the job at times, which you saw when he did a few things wrong, so hopefully he will learn a little more from the run.”

Next Saturday’s Gr. 2 Retina Specialists Avondale Guineas will see the remaining three Baker – Forsman Derby contenders line up as they build to the blue riband event at Ellerslie on March 4.

“Mongolian Wolf, Highlad and Camino Rocoso will all start in the Avondale Guineas,” said Baker.

“We’re very pleased with them all, though Highlad is one who could do with some easing in the track.”

Baker was also thrilled with the performance of multiple Group One winner Turn Me Loose when finishing a courageous second in yesterday’s Gr. 1 CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield.

“He went a beauty to finish second behind a high class horse in Black Heart Bart,” he said.

“He stumbled away at the start which didn’t help but I was delighted how he fought so well after making all the pace following his trouble at the barrier.

“He’s a five-year-old now so he takes a bit of racing to get fully fit so I’m hoping he will be spot on for the Futurity in a fortnight.”

Turn Me Loose will look to make it back-to-back wins in the Gr. 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) when he tackles the event at Caulfield on February 25.

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